For immediate release
October 21, 2009
Riddhi Mehta [email protected]
Stalled contract negotiations force hotel workers to increase pressure
Who and What:
Thousands of hotel workers vote whether to go on city-wide strike.
When and Where:
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Press Conference: 10am at Civic Auditorium
Civic Auditorium at 99 Grove Street (between Larkin and Polk Streets)
Why: About 9,000 hotel workers have been working without a contract since mid-August. After over two months of proposals and counter-proposals, negotiations have made little progress.
The union representing the hotel workers, UNITE HERE Local 2, has met with representatives from Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood and InterContinental. The hotel corporations are using the economy as an excuse to accomplish what they were unsuccessful in achieving during the 2004-2006 labor dispute. Hotel corporations have proposed increasing workloads by cutting shifts and combining jobs. They are also proposing shifting the burden of rising health care costs onto workers who earn an average of $30,000 to $35,000 a year. This comes even as hotel companies report continued profitability, stock prices have soared, and Wall Street payouts have returned to levels before last year’s crash.
The union has made various settlement proposals, ranging from an inexpensive short-term package to a more comprehensive, longer-term deal. But the hotel corporations show no indication of compromising. "We can’t just stand still and wait," says Aurolyn Rush, an employee of the Grand Hyatt. "We’re talking about our health care here. That’s why I’m voting yes."
UNITE HERE! Local 2 is the union of hotel and food service workers in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. It represents about 12,000 workers in the hospitality industry. For more information visit www.unitehere2.org or contact Riddhi Mehta at 707-695-2364 or [email protected].